Cape Town - MEC of social development Albert Fritz has pledged R198 million to fight abuse in the province against its elderly residents, the department said on Sunday.
“The elderly are seen as soft-targets, and are targeted by crooks and sadly even family members, because they know you can’t physically fight back,” Fritz said in statement.
Fritz had visited more than 300 elderly residents at a Christmas Party in Mitchells Plain on Sunday ahead of the festive season earlier in the day.
The visit was part of the department’s oversight visits campaign, aimed at raising awareness around neglect and abuse of the elderly around the festive season.
“Nobody should spend this special time of the year alone [and] as we head into the festive season, I encourage families with older persons in residential facilities to visit more often, or even take them in for the holiday period,” Fritz said.
During his visit, Fritz condemned the abuse and neglect of elderly citizens, especially by criminals as well as being financially exploited by relatives.
He said the pledge would help assist the elderly who reported any form of abuse. The department already funded 450 NGOs who specialised in assisting older persons, he said.
Fritz also cautioned the elderly to be vigilant when accessing their pension and social grants, saying any abuse should be reported to the department.